Effect of intercropping cucumber Cucumis sativus (Cucurbitaceae) at different times with maize Zea mays (Poaceae) on the density of cucumber insect pests
The effectiveness of maize (Zea mays L.) planted at different times in a maize-cucumber intercrop to reduce the density of cucumber insect pests was investigated in 2007 and 2008. The cucumber varieties Marketmore and Hybrid F1 were established from seed as a monocrop or intercropped with maize, and with maize established 2 weeks before cucumber (2WBC), the same day with cucumber (SDC) or 2 weeks after cucumber (2WAC). Irrespective of the cucumber variety, there was a significant reduction (over 50%) in the density of insect pests in the cucumber-maize intercrop compared with cucumber alone. Similarly, in both years, fruit damage was significantly lower (about 50%) in the intercropped cucumber, particularly at 2WBC and SDC, compared with cucumber alone. Cucumber fruit yield was significantly higher at SDC but significantly lower at 2WBC relative to the other times. In both years, a relatively higher yield for cucumber was obtained at SDC than at 2WBC and 2WAC. Therefore, a significant control of cucumber insect pests and a higher cucumber yield were obtained when cucumber and maize were planted on the same day.
Key wordscucumber maize time of intercropping Dacus spp. Bactrocera spp. Epilachna spp. Podagrica spp.
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